By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—The Federal Government has been urged to amend the Universal Basic Education Act to make room for better funding of unity schools in the country.
Former Minister of Education, Professor Chinwe Obaji, made the appeal, yesterday, at a national function organised in Owerri by Federal Government College, Okigwe, Old Students Association.
“If truly the Federal Government desires to keep these schools and still see them as instruments of unification, then efforts must be made to restore them to their former status of academic and educational excellence,” Obaji said.
The former minister equally harped on the need to improve the quality and number of classrooms to accommodate students, stressing that learning cannot take place without relative comfort.
Obaji said: “Learning cannot take place without relative comfort. Sanitation and health are necessary components of quality learning environment.
“Teacher training and retraining cannot be over emphasised, as a teacher with analogue mindset cannot teach a child with digital mindset.”
While affirming the Nigeria does not have enough schools to accommodate its vast growing population, the former Minister however opined that “we should not run down the existing schools because we want to accommodate everyone”.
It was her considered opinion that the quality of products from these schools will ultimately determine the quality of leadership currently being groomed for tomorrow.
“While efforts must be made to ensure that no child is left behind because education is a fundamental right of every child, we must not sacrifice quality on the altar of quantity”, Obaji said.
She warned that universities cannot remedy the problems created at the primary and secondary school levels, stressing that as long as the quality of education at these levels remain poor, the universities cannot automatically transform students.